Prosecutors drop charge against man accused of perjury in Katelyn Markham murder case

The Butler County Prosecutor’s office dropped the charge of perjury Tuesday against a man accused of his involvement in the Katelyn Markham murder case.

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Mike Gmoser said he will re-indict Jonathan Palmerton, 35, after John Carter, the man charged with Markham’s murder and her former fiancé, has stood trial, according to our news partner WCPO in Cincinnati.

Palmerton was accused of making a false statement under oath back in April 2022.

During the hearing, Gmoser said the perjury charge had created a conflict of interest since the prosecution plans to call him as a witness in Carter’s trial in 2024, WCPO said.

Judge Jennifer Muench-McElfresh granted his filing to drop the charge against Palmerton, who has been out on bond since his arraignment on February 22 with a GPS monitor.

John Carter faces a charge of murder in Markham’s death.

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Gmoser spoke with News Center 7′s John Bedell on Tuesday and said the decision had to do with Palmerton potentially taking the stand in his trial and Carter’s.

“It would be ethically impossible for me to go forward with Palmerton’s case in advance of the Carter case,” he said. “And you ask, well, why would that be a problem? Because I would be cross-examining in that case, the Palmerton case. Presumably, Palmerton, if he takes the stand, I would be in a position of having to cross-examine him in that case, even though I would be calling him potentially as a witness later in the Carter case.”

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News Center 7 originally reported Palmerton was originally arrested and charged on February 17.

Gmoser confirmed the charge was related to Katelyn Markham’s disappearance and death. It was the first time anyone faced charges connected in over a decade since her disappearance.

Markham was 21 at the time she went missing, vanishing in August 2011. Hundreds joined searches before her skeletal remains were found in April 2013 in a black garbage bag in a wooded area of Cedar Grove, Indiana.

The coroner ruled Markham’s death a homicide but never determined the exact cause of death.

We will continue to provide updates on this developing story.